Practice Partners Program

Supporting innovation in human-centred health care

The Practice Partners Program aims to stimulate thinking, explore new possibilities and implement new innovative ways for consumers to have highly valued and meaningful roles in improving health outcomes. 

Health services can improve the quality of their care by ensuring that the voice of consumers is actively involved in the design and delivery of their products and services. This might include: improving health care pathways, designing solutions to specific problems, and empowering consumers to participate with confidence in the management of their health.

The Practice Partners Program is a Health Issues Centre (HIC) initiative, funded by Safer Care Victoria.  

What support does HIC provide?

HIC partners with health services to deliver innovative projects, allowing the voice of consumers to improve health service delivery and outcomes. This involves HIC working with health-related organisations on consumer engagement though provision of:

  • Grant funding up to a total value of $12,000
  • In-kind contributions of HIC staff expertise and support

What are the key criteria?

  • Consumer involvement in project design, governance and implementation
  • New and innovative
  • Scalable and replicable
  • A commitment to sharing the project broadly across the sector
  • Small, rural and regional services will be prioritised
  • Projects featuring under-represented consumers will be prioritised

When are the next round of applications open?

The 2018 funding round is now closed.

Email if you would like to be notified of future Practice Partner Program grant rounds.

Our current Practice Partners

St Vincent’s Hospital & Austin Hospital

Patients as teachers: communication skills training for health professionals

There are currently no known Australian training programs that have been developed with and delivered by people with a communication disability. In collaboration, St Vincent’s Hospital and Austin Hospital are designing a training package for health professionals to communicate with people with a disability. The proposed package will include e-learning modules including video and face-to-face training components.

The aim of this project is to improve patient participation in health care and decision making, and to give professionals the strategies to support people with a communication disability. This dynamic project has the potential to improve care, patient satisfaction, efficiency and clinical outcomes.


Barwon Health

Defining and measuring dignity for hospitalised older people

In response to the loss of dignity experienced by older patients during acute care hospitalisation, Barwon Health is developing an outcome measurement tool to assess the dignity of older people. Evidence demonstrates that the dignity of older people is often compromised during acute hospitalisation, and health professionals are unequipped to address this unmet need.

As part of this project, Barwon Health intends to deliver two outcomes:

  • research to develop an enhanced understanding of what constitutes dignity for older people and their carers; and
  • development of a valid dignity outcome measurement tool tailored to the needs of hospitalised older people.

Focusing on a vulnerable group of consumers, the research will address person-centred care, negotiated conversations and shared decision-making. It is anticipated that health professionals will benefit from access to an outcome measurement tool for dignity that will enable them to align interventions that foster dignity with the needs of older people.

Previous Practice Partners


Link Health and Community
Improving access to health services for the Rohingya refugee community

Yarram and District Health
Using video to help older patients access information about health care

North Richmond Community Health
‘Conversations about Care’: Sharing experiences of North Richmond’s diverse community with health care professionals


Grampians Integrated Cancer Service
Podcasts for newly diagnosed cancer patients to provide easy access to reliable information about treatment

Kyabram District Health Service
Using the CARE Model to engage and involve under-represented individuals, groups and communities

Peter MacCallum Cancer Service

Increasing the engagement of culturally diverse cancer patients

Swan Hill District Health
Learning from consumers: Capturing experiences of health services

In the spotlight

Current projects

Here is a list of projects that we are currently working on with consumers and health organisations.

Find out more

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